Ghostface follows in the footsteps of Jason Voorhees and the Muppets by taking Manhattan. Which means Ghostface in Space cannot be far off.
If Creed has proven franchises can survive with all new characters, Scream shows how not to do it. The sixth instalment sends the cast of last year’s reboot to New York, proving you can take the kids out of Woodsboro but you can’t make them act. There is less annoying discussion around horror films this time, but without that the movie is just a generic slasher about some people who still do not register after four hours in their company. It is baffling to watch a series that relies so heavily on nostalgia where you don’t even remember the characters from the previous film. The result is less whodunnit and more whoisthat.
To add insult to injury, Scream queen Sidney Prescott is effectively replaced by Hayden Panettiere’s (also forgotten) character from Scre4m, suggesting it was meant to be Sidney but Neve Campbell pulled out and they had to find another actor from the franchise available at short notice. But then didn’t realise how weird it would look introducing Kirby from Scre4m as you would Sidney Prescott. Courtney Cox returns as Gail Weathers in name only, her personality seemingly buried alongside her ex-husband. And since we can now spoil Scream 5, killing off Dewey (while keeping the current crop of nobodies around) and retconning Billy Loomis as a good guy advanced nothing but contempt for the franchise. Why are the movies most obsessed with legacy the ones most hell-bent on ruining it?
Ultimately these films have no point of view. Scream was perfectly timed and its sequel perfectly observed. As hard as they try to comment on the latest horror trends, the revivals are simply irrelevant. What little genre discussion remains is convoluted and unconvinving, particularly when the new Candyman is said to be on a par with the original, surely not the opinion of any self-respecting horror fan. But it wasn’t the postmodern commentary that made you feel genuine pain when Billy and Stu stabbed each other in Scream. The only feeling in Scream VI is boredom, and a yearning for Ghostface to hang up his cowl and restart his rap career.